KFC, a unit of Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM), announced Monday that they have spent nearly $80 million to create a new chicken sandwich in order to drum up sales.
“The Zinger”, the first fried chicken sandwich to be made by hand, daily in-house, has been in the works for years.
“We have been actually working on this for two years, we spent $80 million dollars upgrading our back house equipment and we spent the last six months re-training all of our staff on how to make a fried chicken sandwich fast because ultimately at lunch, we have to win on speed,” Kevin Hochman, president and chief concept officer for KFC U.S., told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney.
Hochman also says the sandwich, which is already sold in more than 120 countries around the world, will debut in the U.S. on April 24th. In addition to that, it will be made with 100% real chicken from U.S. farms without any antibiotics.
KFC recently joined a long-list of other fast-food restaurants in announcing plans last week to stop using antibiotics important to human medicine in its chickens by the end of 2018.
"We share the public’s concern about...antimicrobial resistance," Hochman said in a statement.
Chipotle (NYSE:CMG), McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD), Burger King, Panera (NASDAQ:PNRA), and Wendy’s (NYSE:WEN) have already made similar pledges in the past. But KFC says they believe they are on the cutting edge in trying to forgo antibiotics when it comes to on-the-bone chicken. The “Zinger” will also be free of added hormones, steroids, and food dyes.
And, even though more Americans are demanding healthier food options, Hochman says he believes people will be interested in this fried sandwich.
“It’s funny. People want real prepared food and the cooks are in back of the house making our chicken on the bone and these new Zinger sandwiches--is totally different than anything out on the market place today,” he said.